At the age of 33 I was diagnosed with womb cancer, up until the age of this I battled with my body from the age of 13 years old. I carried on yes as I was young enough in them days to carry on. As I got older the problems I had got, got harder and harder and despite several appointments with my GP they still refused to help me. This frustrated my ma but also myself. From the age of 27 my gynaecology problems got worst and they still refused to investigate because I was married and still young enough to have children, they would not help me and despite my husband now ex husband having got three children previously they said I might be able to conceive so they still wouldn’t help.
This was until one day I carried on my everyday duties going to the horses despite being in pain and bleeding and went to work as normal. This day in particular I collapsed at work I had a massive haemorrhage unknown to me I was loosing blood rapidly but lucky for me I worked at the hospital so was in good hands. So at the age of 33 I was diagnosed with an undetected cancer, facing life with no children as they had to do an emergency hysterectomy. I came round two days later because of the extent of the haemorrhage I was sedated. But I felt that I had lost everything my chance of ever having children was taken away from me in a split second I blamed everyone including my husband at the time as he had to make the decision in saving my life or letting me die from blood loss. I was in so much pain not from the operation but in my heart and this affected also my ability to see to my passion which was my horses. I was feeling like I had all my eggs in one basket one minute then they took it away, not being able to do things for myself having to rely on others I felt like I had been hit with a death sentence. In a space of 2 months I basically came depressed, I remember lying there one day in bed and my ma saying to me you have two choices girl you get up and carry on or give up, the choice is yours. I recovered fully 9 weeks later after this conversation and carried on my duties with the horses and with work and everyday life but that pang of not having children laid heavy on my heart. Don’t get me wrong I am blessed with four beautiful nieces but they wasn’t mine.
But something was still not right I still had pain in my tummy. Unbeknown to me and I wasn’t told this but I kept my ovaries and cervix after the hysterectomy. The pain I was getting was bad and I thought I will just carry on I had too as I really didn’t want to go through anymore operations. I went for a routine check up 4 years after my hysterectomy to be told again I had ovarian cancer I thought omg here we go again why on earth didn’t they take them out I was told I was too young to go through the menopause. So again I had my ovaries removed and I kept remembering what my ma said “carry on or give up” 5 weeks later I was back riding again back at work and carrying on in my everyday life but still feeling empty as I had lost something that I couldn’t replace. I had to pull myself out of this hole so I resorted to the end in thinking if I can’t have children then my horse, dogs and cats become my children and indeed they did and still are. Then in 2017 I found a lump in my breast honestly I felt like a bullet had been fired into my body and life again. I went under another operation to remove this, at the same time my poppa fell really ill, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer whilst I was waiting for the results of my biopsy. Poppa was seriously poorly to that extent they gave him a 5% chance of survival if they didn’t operate I remember that day as if it was yesterday when he told us he had cancer he couldn’t look me in the eye to tell me, I was basically loosing myself again, the thought of loosing him was killing me and I felt I wanted to give up and how could I tell him my news, then one day before he had his operation to remove the cancer he said to me no matter what the outcome is don’t you ever give up on anything if I don’t survive you fight for your life, I knew he knew what was happening to me of course he did I was his little girl, as tears were streaming down our faces I gave him my word.
Unfortunately my outcome was I had breast cancer so my ma had to deal with not only her husband fighting for his life but her daughter too, in all this time I remember her saying I’m not giving up don’t you two either. We both survived thankfully and carried on never giving up despite how hard the treatment was, I assure you I wanted to give up every single waking day but seeing my poppa fight and the people around me fight made me more determined not to give up. Myself and my poppa survived.
In 2021 I was diagnosed for the 4th time not just with breast cancer but cervical too. I remember thinking what’s happening to me. Why do I deserve to go through this again? Is the world just trying to break me? I literally wanted to give up, I remember talking to my ma and she said please don’t give up, please carry on I know it’s hard but what was harder was seeing that it was breaking my poppa’s heart but instead of being upset he just said to me DONT GIVE UP. I underwent surgery and treatment for cervical cancer too. In between all this happening I fell badly in the field seeing to the horses and had to have emergency surgery to my hand. I thought to myself I can’t give up but I desperately wanted to by god I did, so whilst recovering from all these surgeries I laid in bed one night and I made a decision as the animals were my children this is what I did, I got up at 6am, caught the bus to the horses, did the horses, caught the bus back home, walked 16k everyday and I did this twice a day for 13 weeks, all this time recovering and trying to keep my head above water and remembering what my ma said when I was 33 years old after just having my life turned upside down by not being able to have children “you have two choices girl you carry on or you give up”.
I chose to carry on and I choose to carry on now and that’s my goal in life no matter what knocks me down I won’t ever give up. I had that chance of children taken away from me but did I? No I didn’t as I have my children in my horses, dogs and cats and I have 4 beautiful nieces.
Given the choice to carry on or give up, I will always pick to carry on as that what us women do.